President Donald Trump is no stranger to turnover in his cabinet. His administration retains a revolving door policy resulting in a void with several of his cabinet positions.
While a president is considering a cabinet replacement, an interim person may be appointed to an “acting” position.
In a normal administration, the president would fill cabinet positions poste-haste. This is not true with the Trump administration.
Donald Trump was asked by a reporter in January why so many cabinet positions remain unfilled and his response was, “I like acting. It gives me more flexibility. Do you understand that?”
We should all be concerned about having these high-level positions filled without being subjected to the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation process. Leaving cabinet positions open and relegated to an acting position gives the president more leverage over them. Essentially, the president is able to appoint someone who is acting on his behalf.
In 2017, Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion that there was seemingly no constitutional basis for having “acting” cabinet members and that there needed to be limits on a president’s power to fill the highest positions without Senate confirmation.
Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, both of whom are in leadership positions, have a duty and responsibility to speak up and keep this administration in check. Stop allowing President Trump to bypass the Senate with these “acting” positions. Our country deserves better.